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Hood’s Winks – The Marshes of Glynn

By Ralph Hood

Oh, I wish you could have seen Gail and me on our trip to Glynn County, Georgia, where we attended the 150th anniversary of the Presbyterian church in which I grew up. We stayed at the home of Anne and John Tuten—friends of long standing and world-class host and hostess.

The Tutens have 100 acres of Spanish moss-bedecked live oaks, marshes, and wildlife at Sedgmoor—site of the summer place of Hugh Grant, former owner of a nearby rice plantation back in the 19th century.

Sedgmoor today is much as it was in the past, and the Tutens keep it that way. It is absolutely beautiful!

Sedgmoor is bordered on the east side by the Marshes of Glynn, so named by Georgia’s one time poet laureate, Sidney Lanier, in his poem titled—simply—”The Marshes of Glynn.” It is my favorite poem. Lanier, a musician, professor, and poet, was in pain and poor health from tuberculosis resulting from his long stay in a Union prison during the Civil War. Yet he studied the marshes and wrote the poem, finding peace in the doing.

If interested you should look up and read “The Marshes of Glynn.”

My personal favorite in the poem is…

“As the marsh hen builds her nest on the watery sod,

Behold, I will build me a nest on the greatness of God.”

Lanier was a religious man, and preachers delighted in drawing sermons from “The Marshes of Glynn.” My maternal grandfather, a Methodist preacher, cited “The Marshes of Glynn” in many sermons. Interestingly enough, the Wesley Brothers—so important to the Methodist Church—did their founding work on St. Simons Island, just a few miles away.

Even if you have read “The Marshes of Glynn” before, I strongly urge you to read it again. It describes the beauty of Sedgmoor far better than I.

For example:

“Beautiful glooms, soft dusks in the noon-day fire,—

Wildwood privacies, closets of lone desire,

Chamber from chamber parted with wavering arras of leaves,—

Cells for the passionate pleasure of prayer to the soul that grieves…”

Another example:

“Glooms of the live-oaks, beautiful-braided and woven

With intricate shades of the vines that myriad-cloven

Clamber the forks of the multiform boughs,—

Emerald twilights,—

Virginal shy lights…”

With thanks to Anne and John Tuten for a delightful visit to Sedgmoor.